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Cotton prices up sh900

By Vision Reporter

Added 28th June 2010 03:00 AM

COTTON prices will remain stable for the second season running, top officials announced over the weekend. The farm gate price will stay at sh900 per kilogramme, up from the sh450 paid to farmers during the 2007/2008 financial year.

COTTON prices will remain stable for the second season running, top officials announced over the weekend. The farm gate price will stay at sh900 per kilogramme, up from the sh450 paid to farmers during the 2007/2008 financial year.

By John Thawite

COTTON prices will remain stable for the second season running, top officials announced over the weekend. The farm gate price will stay at sh900 per kilogramme, up from the sh450 paid to farmers during the 2007/2008 financial year.

Adriano Katwetegeke, the Kazinga Channel region cotton development officer, told farmers in a meeting last week that the Cotton Development Organisation (CDO) had decided to keep the price at sh900 as an incentive to boost production.

Kazinga Channel zone comprises Kasese, Kamwenge and Bushenyi. Statistics from the CDO western region office indicate that the zone’s production will be about 25,000 bales. The total earnings for the three districts will be sh12.27b.

In February, Jolly Sabune, the managing director of the Cotton Development Organisation, said the Government had provided farm inputs to revive cotton growing to improve the financial status of the farmers.

The farm inputs included free quality seeds that were delivered in time for planting, while pumps and pesticides prices were subsidised by 50%.

Henry Bagire, the agriculture minister, disclosed early this year that stabilising cotton prices would attract more farmers to grow the crop.

“Cotton is a strategic crop that will enhance household income and ensure prosperity-for-all,” Bagire said. “The good news is that the price at sh900 per kilogramme is good. It will also be maintained for the next season.”

The minister, who was on a monitoring and assessment tour of Kasese and Bushenyi districts, was responding to farmers’ request that the current prices be maintained for the next season.

The new season started in April. Farmers were concerned with the price fluctuation, which is influenced by the international market forces.

For the cotton prices fell to sh450 per kilogramme due to the global economic crisis that resulted in a sharp drop in consumption of textile products.

But Bagire explained that the sh900 price would be maintained because the US government was reducing subsidies to its farmers.

He added that China had re-allocated the land that used to produce cotton for food cultivation, while India’s cotton growing land had been flooded. “Cotton prices have never gone below sh300. The crop is now fetching good money compared to other crops, which should encourage farmers to grow more cotton,” he said.

“Cotton yields high returns compared to other crops because on average, a cotton farmers can earn between sh700,000 and sh1.4m from an acre.”

The minister urged local leaders to mobilise people to grow cotton because “it is a foreign exchange earner, an employment provider and household income- generating activity.”

Bagire also advised farmers to grow food crops to ensure food security Last year, national cotton production stood at 125,000 bales, up from 60,000 the previous year.

On the global front, the International Cotton Advisory Committee has projected an increase in world cotton production in 2010-11 after three consecutive years of decline.

Growth in production is largely attributed to increase in crop cultivation encouraged by higher prices internationally.

World cotton production is estimated at 111 million bales compared to 102 million bales in 2009-10. The International Cotton Advisory Committee has projected a rise in the world cotton production in 2010-11 season largely due to increase in crop cultivation encouraged by higher international prices.

World cotton production is estimated at 111 million bales compared to the 102 million bales produced between 2009 and 2010.

Cotton prices up sh900

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